Beginning on this date in 1874, the largest swarm of Rocky Mountain Locusts ever recorded blackened the skies from the Dakotas to Texas, and began to feast on America’s farms. Like something out of the Old Testament, the moving swarm was estimated to cover almost 200,000 square miles.
The 12.5 trillion locusts ate not only crops, but also leather, paint, clothing, and the wool off of living sheep. They even halted locomotive traffic. The plague ended on July 30th, and subsequent swarms were much smaller. In fact, the last living Rocky Mountain locust was noted in 1902.